If you receive a letter in the mail saying you've won $150,000 in REI's "Consumer Promotion Drawing," don't quit your day job or start planning an elaborate outdoor adventure. It's just a scam from a criminal trying to pull your thermal leg warmer.
REI contacted our office and issued a news alert after consumers in several states reported receiving letters along with fake checks for $3,800. Like similar pitches, this one works if consumers cash the check and then send money to cover the "Non-Resident Government Tax" allegedly owed to a "British Tax Officer." The cons apparently weren't too smart since REI isn't a British company; it's located right here in Washington.
Fake check scams are rampant right now. Remember, you don't have to pay to receive a prize.
Tangent: By the way, in case you think I'm making light of a serious situation with my leg warmer pun, do you know the origin of "pull your leg"? According to one story, the cliché has a criminal background. Thieves in London used to use wires to trip their victims. A conspirator stole the victim's valuables while the person was down on the ground.